The much-awaited schedule for the Lok Sabha polls will be announced by the Election Commission tomorrow.
With the announcement of poll dates, the Model Code of Conduct for governments and political parties will come into force with immediate effect. The schedule will be announced at a press conference by Chief Election Commissioner VS Sampath along with two Election Commissioners HS Brahma and SNA Zaidi. The conference this time is being held at Vigyan Bhawan instead of at Nirvachan Bhawan, the EC headquarters.
Polling is likely to commence from the second week of April and may be spread over six to seven phases, the longest so far, highly placed sources said. The probable dates for the commencement of polling are between April 7 and 10, the sources in the Election Commission had told PTI.
As of now, the plan is to have the voting exercise involving an electorate of 81 crore in six to seven phases. The 2009 polls were held in five phases from April 16 to May 13. The term of the current Lok Sabha expires on June 1 and the new House has to be constituted by May 31.
Along with the Lok Sabha election, Andhra Pradesh, including the regions comprising Telangana, Odisha and Sikkim will go to polls to elect new assemblies. It could be the first time the country witnesses elections over such a long period in six or seven phases.
The sources had said that the attempt is to "maximise" use of forces and the polling days. In the first phase, polling is expected to be held in some of the Naxal-hit states and in some northeastern states.